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…the Internet’s true value isn’t in being everywhere but in enhancing the here.

"The dream was that anyone, anywhere, could participate and would, if given the chance," said Shelley Bernstein, the vice director of digital engagement and technology at the Brooklyn Museum. "I had the ‘anyone, anywhere’ dream. I remember sitting in countless meetings and arguing for that dream."

- Museums See Different Virtues in Virtual Worlds, By ANAND GIRIDHARADAS AUG. 7, 2014, New York Times

The “anyone, anywhere dream” is the foundational philosophy of the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. There is no physical location for the museum, anyone, anywhere can explore our resources online. La Placita, is the museum’s virtual town square in the virtual world of Second Life where visitors can learn and engage with Latino cultural heritage through immersive interactive experiences. Designed to replicate true physical museum experiences, visitors explore the museum as avatars, and anyone can come donning any identity they choose.

Pondering the Possibilities is a personal reflection written by writer, poet, and longtime LVM collaborator Maria Miranda Maloney about the possibilities of creating community in a virtual space based on her experience in Second Life at the Latino Virtual Museum for LatinoVirtual.blogspot.com, an archived blog documenting the development of LVM in Second Life.

Related Topics & Educational Resources:

Virtual Boy Scouts Earn Merit Badge at Smithsonian LVM

Imagineering: Cultural Identity and Dia de los Muertos

The LVM Real/Virtual Watershed initiative

Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about theSmithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resourcesFollow us on Facebook!

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Son Clave Glossary: Salsa Music and Dance

A musical hybrid, a mix of Afro-Cuban, Afro-Puerto Rican and Latin Caribbean traditional musics mixed with Latin American jazz and other styles. The polyrhythmic, beautifully syncopated music is usually played by a band of 8-10 musicians - 1 or 2 lead singers, brass instruments (especially the trombone), piano, bass, conga drums, timbales, bongos, a cowbell and other percussion instruments. 2. A contemporary word for hot, up-tempo, creative Latin music, it means “gravy” or “sauce.” Originally it was used as a descriptive such as “swinging” or “funky.” The origins of the current usage are obscure, but it began to circulate in the late 1960s.

#MyLatinoStory Share your cultural traditions, holiday celebrations, and stories of experience within Latino and Afro-Latino cultural heritage on our blog for the #MyLatinoStory project. You can share your stories several ways! Visit our submissions page for more details - http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit

Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resources.

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Featured Video: Documentary La Lupe Queen Of Latin Soul

Three Afro-Caribbean women, three Latina minorities in the United States, three voices who develop their singing careers in the United States. Yet despite the foundational gestures of this feminist genealogy, La India also recognizes and foregrounds the struggles of power and the differences among women that foreclose any homogenizing category of “woman.” La India provides her listeners with a complex negotiation between the official recognition of Celia Cruz as the Queen of Salsa, and the fact that this title has been established, in part, as a result of La Lupe’s invisibility in the history of popular music. La India’s homage to Celia is a subversive recovery of La Lupe’s radical performances, excesses whose ultimate meanings were perhaps not understood in her own time…

Excerpt from Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music and Puerto Rican Cultures By Frances Aparicio

Learn more about Cuban icon La Lupe through the PBS, Independent Lens documentary La Lupe Queen of Latin Soul.

#MYLATINOSTORY

Share your cultural traditions, holiday celebrations, and stories of experience within Latino and Afro-Latino cultural heritage on our blog for the #MyLatinoStory project. You can share your stories several ways! Visit our submissions page for more details - http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit

Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resources.

Related Topics:

Son Clave  Salsa Lounge - Learn about the rhythms of Salsa

Son Clave Glossary Relating to Afro Caribbean Music

Fania Records on Tumblr! - Explore legendary sounds of Salsa!

Raices: The Roots of Latin Music

Educational Activity: Understanding Significant Figures (Celia Cruz

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¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz
This week we celebrate the women of Salsa, and we begin with the legendary Afro-Cuban signer Celia Cruz, a master of many different genres of Afro-Caribbean song with a rich powerful voice and electrifying stage presence! The story of Celia Cruz can inspire students to explore a wide range of subjects, including immigration, history, geography, music theory, music history, and art. 
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has an exhibition site, ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz where you can learn about the life, music, and personal style of Celia Cruz. There educators can find lessons in PDF version that can be downloaded and printed for classroom use under resources. The lesson plan “Exile: Cuba and the United States”, focuses on Celia’s homeland and the events of the Cuban revolution and its effect on U.S./Cuban relations and U.S. foreign policy. On a lighter note the “Design Your Performance” lesson guides learners through understand the role of aesthetics and style in the performing arts through exploring photos and musical performances of Celia Cruz as inspiration for set and costume design. These lessons range for learners K-12 so there is something to engage everyone, and the site and resources are bilingual.
#MYLATINOSTORY
Share your cultural traditions, holiday celebrations, and stories of experience within Latino and Afro-Latino cultural heritage on our blog for the #MyLatinoStory project. You can share your stories several ways! Visit our submissions page for more details - http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit
Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resources.
Related Topics:
Son Clave  Salsa Lounge - Learn about the rhythms of Salsa
Son Clave Glossary Relating to Afro Caribbean Music
Fania Records on Tumblr! - Explore legendary sounds of Salsa!
Raices: The Roots of Latin Music 
Sacred Drums of the Yoruba - Ritmos de Identidad

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¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz

This week we celebrate the women of Salsa, and we begin with the legendary Afro-Cuban signer Celia Cruz, a master of many different genres of Afro-Caribbean song with a rich powerful voice and electrifying stage presence! The story of Celia Cruz can inspire students to explore a wide range of subjects, including immigration, history, geography, music theory, music history, and art.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has an exhibition site, ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz where you can learn about the life, music, and personal style of Celia Cruz. There educators can find lessons in PDF version that can be downloaded and printed for classroom use under resources. The lesson plan “Exile: Cuba and the United States”, focuses on Celia’s homeland and the events of the Cuban revolution and its effect on U.S./Cuban relations and U.S. foreign policy. On a lighter note the “Design Your Performance” lesson guides learners through understand the role of aesthetics and style in the performing arts through exploring photos and musical performances of Celia Cruz as inspiration for set and costume design. These lessons range for learners K-12 so there is something to engage everyone, and the site and resources are bilingual.

#MYLATINOSTORY

Share your cultural traditions, holiday celebrations, and stories of experience within Latino and Afro-Latino cultural heritage on our blog for the #MyLatinoStory project. You can share your stories several ways! Visit our submissions page for more details - http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit

Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resources.

Related Topics:

Son Clave  Salsa Lounge - Learn about the rhythms of Salsa

Son Clave Glossary Relating to Afro Caribbean Music

Fania Records on Tumblr! - Explore legendary sounds of Salsa!

Raices: The Roots of Latin Music 

Sacred Drums of the Yoruba - Ritmos de Identidad

quienesesachica

     No one before Bernini had managed to make marble so carnal. In his nimble hands it would flatter and stream, quiver and sweat. His figures weep and shout, their torses twist and run, and arch themselves in spasms of intense sensation. He could, like an alchemist, change one material into another - marble into trees, leaves, hair, and, of course, flesh.  
     -   Simon Schama’s Power of Art. Bernini

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Imagineering Wednesdays: Baile Folklorico 

When I was a kid in elementary school in El Paso, Texas, I remember having to take folklorico classes in addition to my regular P.E. classes. At the time I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) appreciate the art and instead enjoyed my after school ballet program. 

Now that I’m no longer a kid afraid of boy cooties with a strong dislike for skirts and dresses, the art of folklorico is quite beautiful.

Baile folklorico literally means “folkloric dance” and is a collective term for traditional Latin American dances. The dances have strong ties to culture and specific regions are known for specific dances. For example, Jalisco Mexico is known for the Jarabe Tapatio (The Hat Dance), Guerrero is known for it’s sintesis and tixtla and Michoacán is known for Historia del Traje de la Mujer Michoacana, which depicts a local folk tale. 

If you are a dancer (ballet, folklorico, contemporary, etc) do your roots play a special role toward your dance style?

We posted this Imagineering Wednesday a while back and we are revisiting this in the hopes that you, readers, will share with us some of your experiences. Dance has a big place in Latino culture. Different regions have different types of dances to tell stories relevant to each one. One of our goals is to tell the untold stories and share your experiences relating to the latino culture. Share with us any stories and photos of you dancing folklorico or any other type of dance! http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit

All you Instagram users can tag your images with the hashtag down below! Keep an eye out on here for your images!

#LVMYourLatinoStory